TPM #13: The importance of strength training with Tina McLaren

October 31, 2017



Breast cancer treatment takes a pretty big toll on our bodies. So it’s important that when we’re able to, we start to rebuild, and one of the best ways to do this, is through strength training. In this episode personal trainer Tina McLaren shares with us the enormous benefits of strength training following a breast cancer diagnosis, and also introduces us to the Lift for Life Program – a great place to start your strength training after breast cancer treatment.



Tina McLaren is a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer at the Range Community Gym on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, and is currently studying to be an Exercise Physiologist.


As part of her job she co-ordinates and runs the “Lift for Life” program –a program backed by research which is all about improving your strength to allow you to do the things you want and need to do.


Tina has a significant personal connection with breast cancer, her sister being diagnosed three times over the past six years. 


She has taken several women who have had breast cancer and who are at various stages of treatment or recovery through the Lift for Life program, with great success.


Originally trained as a Psychologist, Tina also works as a Carer for clients with Dementia and assists them with exercise.


She is passionate about movement and exercise to improve quality of life.




  • ALL ABOUT the Lift for Life Program

  • The BENEFITS of strength training following a breast cancer diagnosis

  • WHO you should turn to for exercise advise and prescription

  • WHY you should take steps today to start incorporating strength training into your life




What is the Lift for Life Program?

Lift for Life is a unique resistance training program designed for adults with (or at risk of developing) type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.


Resistance training involves using your own body weight or resistance equipment like a dumbbell or rubberised band. The great thing about Lift for Life is that you can start at a level that's right for you, and go at your own pace.


Lift for Life is perfect for any age and any fitness level. Even if you haven't been physically active in a while, Lift for Life will help improve your quality-of-life! There are low-cost options available in some areas to make it easier to get started and making it accessible for everyone.


Lift for Life is made up of three 8 week programs; Bronze, Silver and Gold. All sessions are run in small groups (up to 12 people) and you only need to attend 2-3 sessions a week to start noticing improvements.


Lift for Life® is an evidence-based resistance training program that was developed by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.


When should you start the Lift for Life Program?

Tina recommends initially working with a qualified physiotherapist, personal trainer or exercise physiologist first, who can get you going on the right path for your movement and exercise. She also recommends finishing any major treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, prior to commencing Lift for Life.


Why would you do Lift for Life?

Research shows the enormous benefits of strength training following a breast cancer diagnosis.

  • It can help you get recover more quickly from chemotherapy by improving your overall strength and energy levels

  • It can help prevent osteoporosis by keeping you bone health in tact

  • It can help improve your balance and posture


Did you know?

To build your strength and muscle you need to undertake strength training at least twice a week.


Want to work with a specialist? Find one below:

Find an exercise physiologist:

Find a trainer with qualifications in cancer and exercise:
Find a Pinc Physiotherapist:


“Being strong is about being independent, having choices, and being able to look after yourself and your family”




Lift for Life program information -​







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